While all Saudi women are still under the guardianship of a male family member — usually a husband or father — the first Saudi domestic violence ad marks progress for the Kingdom's women.
So, for that matter, does Prince AlWaleed bin Talal's push earlier this month to lift the female driving ban in order to improve the Saudi economy. Hey, and that bike-riding for fun thing! Yay for April in Saudi Arabia, you guys.
The ad, the first of the King Khalid Foundation's No More Abuse campaign, is intended to encourage women to report domestic violence. (Of course, another great idea would be one that encourages men not to beat the crap out of the women under their guardianship, but... baby steps!)
The organization's website copy reads:
"The phenomenon of battered women in Saudi Arabia is much greater than is apparent on the surface. It is a phenomenon found in the dark. We want to achieve justice for all women and children exposed to abuse in all parts of the Kingdom."
It's received a lot of attention on Reddit (with some insightful comments). According to NineMSN, Saudi Arabia is currently ranked 131 out of 148 in terms of gender parity. Most domestic abuse isn't reported, but violence against women as well as female children is believed to occur in disturbingly high numbers.